• Employers Aren’t Just Whining: The “Skills Gap” Is Real

    Paul Krugman and other notables dismiss the notion of a skills gap, though employers continue to claim they’re having trouble finding workers with the skills they need. And if you look at the evidence one way, Krugman et al. are right. But this week an interesting post on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network by guest columnist James Bessen suggests that employers may not just be whining, they may really have a problem filling some kinds of jobs.

    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 08-28-2014
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  • Aussie CAPEX Shoots Higher!

    In This Issue.

    * Dollar is soft again this morning.

    * Euro plays game of back & forth around 1.32.

    * Canada's Current Account Deficit to narrow?

    * A British tweet gets them in hot water.

    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 08-28-2014
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  • Fed’s Getting Anxious About Interest Rate "Liftoff"

    While I have been a Fed watcher for over 30 years, rarely have I seen as much media angst over the central bank’s next move as we are seeing today. We all know that the Fed is going to raise short-term interest rates at some point. We expect the Fed to “normalize” interest rates slowly in measured steps over the next few years. The main question is, when does this process begin?

    The other question is, what effect will the eventual interest rate increases have on the stock and bond markets and the economy? While the Fed has made it clear that it intends to end its “quantitative easing” (QE) policy by late October, and that it will start to raise rates sometime next year, stocks and bonds have been on an upward tear all year. Stocks are at record highs, and bond prices have risen when most forecasters expected them to go down.

    When Janet Yellen took over as Fed Chair earlier this year, she suggested that the Fed would not begin to raise short-term rates until at least six months after QE ends. Most analysts assumed that meant no interest rate hike until at least April or May of next year, or even later. However, the minutes from the July 29-30 Fed policy meeting released last week suggested that several FOMC members think a rate hike should occur sooner.

    This revelation (dare we call it that) set off quite the buzz among financial writers over the last week. The concern is that if the Fed raises interest rates too early, that could choke off the feeble economic recovery. Yet while some financial analysts sounded alarm bells over the possibility that the Fed’s interest rate hike might happen sooner than expected, the markets seemingly could care less. That’s part of what we’ll talk about today.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 08-26-2014
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  • Gold and Oil on the Verge of Something Big – Hero’s Rarely Win

    Everyone has been calling for a bottom in Gold the last year. But the fact is that gold and gold stocks are still clearly in a bear market. Just look at the 200 day moving averages. The previous trends were down and prices have been moving sideways for...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 08-22-2014
  • AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs

    This past week several reports came across my desk highlighting both the good news and the bad news about the future of automation and robotics. There are those who think that automation and robotics are going to be a massive destroyer of jobs and others who think that in general humans respond to shifts in employment opportunities by creating new opportunities.

    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 08-21-2014
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  • Silver: As Close to a No-Brainer Investment as It Gets

    By Jeff Clark, Hard Assets Alliance Contributor Jim Rogers once quipped that he waits to invest until “there’s a pile of money just sitting there in a corner and I can walk over and pick it up.” In other words, an asset that’s...
    Posted to Hard Assets Alliance by Hard Assets on 08-21-2014
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  • ISIS Training Western Terrorists To Attack Europe & US

    On Tuesday, I received the latest briefing from one of my best geopolitical/intelligence sources, LIGNET (Langley Intelligence Network, subscription-only), regarding the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – the ruthless band of terrorists that has...
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  • Lithium-Powered Profit Potential

    I have to admit … the electric cars Tesla Motors (TSLA) produces are pretty darn cool. Tesla cars don’t just look fast; they are fast! The Tesla Model S can go from zero to 60 mph in a stunning 5.9 seconds and travel up to an impressive 319...
    Posted to Uncommon Wisdom by Tony Sagami on 08-21-2014
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  • Fed Meeting Minutes Are Looked At Differently.

    In This Issue.

    * Dollar's mini-rally stalls..

    * Norwegian 2nd QTR GDP beats expectations!.

    * Eurozone Flash PMI's are weaker.

    * SDR's in our future?

    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 08-21-2014
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  • Getting the Most Value from Your “Geriatric Cruiser”

    By Dennis Miller For many a car lover, retiring rich requires the end of a lifelong love affair. I empathize with them all; I’ve had my own romance over the last 50-plus years. Cars have a special resonance for people of my generation. George Lucas’...
    Posted to Casey Research by Doug Casey on 08-21-2014
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  • Three Interesting Articles I Read Last Week

    I’m taking most of this week off to hang out with the kids before they head back to college this weekend. So today we’ll look at a few of the most interesting articles I’ve read over the last week. I hope you enjoy them. I have some comments of my own at the end of each article.

    We will start with an article on Saturday from Larry Kudlow, a CNBC senior contributor and host of The Larry Kudlow Show on radio. Larry is one of my favorite economic and financial writers because he knows how to cut right to the chase and pulls no punches. In the following article, Larry offers his no-nonsense plan to get the economy back on track – and I fully agree with him.

    Following that, I have a very good article on the state of the European economy, and the news is not good. Europe may be headed in the direction of Japan. Our last article focuses on President Obama’s use of Executive Orders when Congress fails to cooperate and, specifically, his latest threat to grant a path to citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants by EO.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 08-19-2014
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  • Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere

    You can almost feel it in the air. The froth and foam on markets of all shapes and sizes all over the world. It’s exhilarating, and the pundits who populate the media outlets are bubbling over. There’s nothing like a rising market to lift our moods. Unless of course, as Prof. Kindleberger famously cautioned (see below), we are not participating in that rising market. Then we feel like losers. But what if the rising market is … a bubble? Are we smart enough to ride it high and then bail out before it bursts? Research says we all think that we are, yet we rarely demonstrate the actual ability.

    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 08-18-2014
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  • Keeping It Simple, Why Short Traders Are Losing Money This Week

    One thing I have talked about several times which cannot be understated is that is the tendency for investors to believe that complex trading ideas and automated trading systems are better than simple, logical ones. At first thought this notion is completely...
  • The Border Crisis: Why Is It Happening & Why Now?

    The recent surge of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children to the United States from Central America has sparked an intense and emotional debate over the crisis on the US-Mexico border. Unlike illegal immigrants from Mexico that can be deported within 48 hours, illegals from “non-contiguous” countries must be provided a deportment hearing in a court of law.

    As a result, these illegals must be detained and housed (and educated if they are minors) until they have their day in court. Our government is quietly shipping these illegal immigrants to cities across America, often with no advance notice to the local communities. Why is this happening?

    Many Republicans say that the crisis is largely due to lenient US immigration policies that have led these illegal immigrants to believe that if they can get here, they can stay here. Many Democrats believe that these people are fleeing rampant violence in their home countries and that we should help them – along with a path to citizenship.

    Yet there are many more questions than there are answers. Is our government directly responsible for this humanitarian crisis? How do these families in poverty in Central America scrape together thousands of dollars to pay the “coyotes” and send their young children into potentially grave danger? Why is this flood of immigrants and children happening now?

    Finally, could the border crisis be a prelude to a National ID Card? Maybe it’s a preposterous question, but it needs to be asked. I will ask it today and explain why we need to be aware of this possibility. This should make for an interesting letter, whether you agree or not.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 08-12-2014
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  • Consumer Confidence Hits 7-Year High - Really?

    Today we’ll look at several key economic reports over the last week or so. Most have been better than expected. The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index surged to the highest level in seven years in July. However, a couple of other reports we’ll look at below paint a very different picture.

    The advance report on 2Q GDP came in well above pre-report estimates. Last Friday’s unemployment report for July was disappointing, but at least new jobs were over 200,000 for the sixth consecutive month. The Fed’s favorite inflation indicator (PCE) climbed to the highest level since 2011 last month. And the ISM manufacturing index surged to a three-year high in July. We’ll analyze all of these reports as we go along today.

    Finally, a recording of our latest WEBINAR with YCG Investments is now available on our website. You’ll definitely want to hear Brian Yacktman and his team discuss their very successful “value investing” strategy.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 08-05-2014
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